The True Story of My Nursing Career

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The True Story of My Nursing Career | Real Food RN

I want to share with you today a very personal story about the journey to my nursing career. It has been a journey filled with passion, tears, and hope. I really felt the need to share it here, to hopefully inspire others too.

As far back as I can remember, I have had an interest in health and healing. I remember when I was 4 years old and a neighbor girl was over playing. She has a burn on her arm and I took her into the bathroom, applied athletes foot powder and a bandage to it.

I thought I was doing the right thing. It made me happy to help.

Then I read about how the Native Americans had used plants as medicine, and that simply fascinated me! I would go into the woods in search of anything I could make into healing remedies. I was still pretty young, so I really had no clue what I as doing. I would bring my finds back to my fort and muddle them into different concoctions.

Alas, none of my friends would give them a try. But it made me happy to try.

Then, I naturally gravitated to something health-related when it came time to get my first job. It was the only health care job that someone 15 years old could do in my area. So I trained for and became a Nursing Assistant in a nursing home.

This opened my eyes to a whole new world.

If you have ever been in a nursing home, you know that they can be very depressing. Some days I would leave there exhausted and just down right sad. I remember staring at old black and white photos on the walls of the residents that I cared for, pictures of their almost forgotten past.

Then, I would look into their eyes and try to imagine all of the life they had lived and seen over the years. I remember thinking to myself many times, these people that I am putting to bed were someone’s baby once. Someone loved them and lay them in a crib at night, and now here I am 80 years later laying them down in their small room with the black and white photos on the wall.

This memory still brings tears to my eyes.

It made me sad. I desperately wanted to help them and to just talk to them about their life. To learn from them. But so many of them were “gone”, robbed of their ability to communicate. Most days I was working on the locked Alzheimer’s wing.

Then one day I cared for a woman with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). She was bedridden and could only use her eyes and toes. She was still able to use a computer, using a modified mouse pad and her toes. We communicated via a letter board.

Her name was Sue. I will never forget her. I cry as I type this because she really had such an impact on my choice to pursue Nursing as my career. Her walls were covered in photos. Not all black and white, many of them color. She was not old, the disease had robbed her of many years of her life.

It was frustrating for her, not to be able to even scratch an itch. Some days were bad. Some days she was in an awful mood and many of my co-workers refused to work with her. So I would volunteer to be her aide that day. It did not bother me when she was in a bad mood. Sometimes we would just sit in silence in her room.

She had three kids. They all lived in different states. She also had grandchildren that she had never even met because her daughter did not have enough money to travel to see Sue.

Her son looked like Elvis and it always made her eyes smile when I would tell her that. So I said it a lot.

It made her happy, and that made me happy.

I came in on my days off and brought her flowers from my Mom’s gardens, to brighten up her room. One day I brought in some homemade sauerkraut for her to taste. We had “talked” about foods she loved as a kid and that was one of them.

She had been on a tube feeding diet for years now. So on this day I wrapped the sauerkraut in some gauze and put it in her mouth so she could taste the sour juice from the kraut. I remember, she squeezed her eyes shut from the sour and then cried. She was so happy to taste it again.

I cried too.

I was there the first day she met her grandchildren, which was also the last. Her health was rapidly declining and her daughter was able to save up enough money to visit her Mom one more time. We all cried a lot that day. It will forever be in my memory and makes me cry every time I think about it.

So began my nursing career

Soon I was facing my college career. I told Sue that I was going to pursue Nursing and her eyes beamed! She had been a Nurse before she got sick. She had cared for so many sick people, and now she was on the other side of the fence. She was suffering.

Maybe I could make a difference, I thought.

College began and time passed quickly in the chaos. My college was close to home so I decided to surprise Sue with a visit, to tell her all about what I was learning.

When I arrived, her room was empty. My heart sank.

I drove back to my dorm in silence and got on my computer. This began my real research into the cause of disease. The internet was still pretty new, so I went between the library books and what I could find in a search on AOL. I started researching ALS and it took me down the rabbit hole.

Reading about how our food affects our health, and how we could use things like plant extracts and essential oils to elevate our wellness and prevent disease simply fascinated me! I would (and still do!) get so excited.

I wanted to run out of the library screaming all of the information that I was reading about to the masses!!

 

The True Story of My Nursing Career | Real Food RN
A photo from my nursing school days

I would talk about it with my professors and classmates, but they did not seem to have the same interest as me. Most of the focus was on our modern medical model. Like it was the end-all be-all for everything health related. Follow the “Standard of Care”

So, I quietly researched and read. I opted for every “alternative” medicine class I could take, which were few and far between. I did projects that talked about the efficacy of modern medicine versus the tried and true remedies of the past. Those projects were often met with resistance from my peers.

Oh well, those projects made me happy.

Graduation day arrived and I honestly had no clue what area of nursing I wanted to work in. No clue. I took the first job that I found and started my Nursing career in a small (and I mean small!) hospital, not far from where I grew up. I dutifully cared for my patients. Administering antibiotics, helping deliver babies, assisting in surgery. It was exciting to be using my new skills!

But something was missing.

I changed from my small town hospital and made the move to an oncology ward all the way across the country in California! There I administered chemotherapy and cared for the very sick. I watched many people die horrible deaths. It was a very dark time in my career.

The air always felt thick to me in that ward, like even the air was sick.

Lifelong oncology nurses are special people indeed, because every day pulls at your heart strings.

I felt the same nagging desire to find SOMETHING ELSE, some other solution. Chemo was making everyone so sick.

Wasn’t there an alternative.

Why were they getting cancer?

Why were we feeding them garbage when they were so sick?

Could this all have been prevented?

These were questions that my colleagues didn’t like me to ask. So again, I retreated to my books and any science I could find online.

Homesickness got the best of me and I returned home. Still undecided about my actual favorite area of nursing, I took a job in the ICU Float Pool. This way I could work everywhere.

The True Story of My Nursing Career | Real Food RN

Surely I would find my niche this way!

I floated to every floor in a very large hospital. Somedays I had on my medical surgical hat, other days I was in the Emergency Room. Somedays I went to 4 different places, starting my day in the ICU and ending it on a surgical floor. It made my head spin a lot of the time!

Still, there was something missing.

Everyone was so sick. Why were we feeding them this horrible food, and always pumping them full of medications? So many medications!

Was symptomatic management all that we could do?

Now, don’t get me wrong, there is DEFINITELY a place for our modern medical model! I work with brilliant and caring people. They pursued this career because they want to help people! If someone severs a limb, head right to the ER. The doctors there will help you, with the help of an amazing surgical team no doubt. If you have symptoms of a stroke or a heart attack, head immediately to the hospital. The cardiologists and neurologists will give you life-saving help!

But what if you just have a nagging rash, or vague symptoms that persist? You doctor keeps giving you medications, but no real answers. What about that? THAT is what nags at me! The mystery of the cause of the problem!

Why do we give so much energy to symptomatic management, and so little to finding the root cause?

Finding the root cause is how the medicine men of the past did it. Why are we so removed from that today? That would pass through my mind numerous times every shift that I worked.

I finally decided that I was not doing the work that was true to my heart, so I went back to school and pursued Holistic Nutrition at The Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I learned about all of the different diet theories, how to heal with food, and how to navigate the best path to real wellness. It filled my cup all the way to the top! THIS is what was missing!

This time I did talk about it, I told anyone and everyone who would listen. I mean everyone! I started seeing clients and teaching them how to eat a healthy diet, and their health improved. I would just beam when they told me that! God’s work. Truly!

My small local audience was not enough, so I decided to put some of my healthy recipes online. I would work on my blog while on break at work. I would (and still do) get up at 4:30 in the morning just so I could work on the blog before the family got up. I would (and still do) go to the library for an entire day and barely even leave my computer. Labor of love. Absolute love.

Finally, more than just my Mom was reading my recipes and I started to interact with people from all over the world! What an amazing time we live in! Hearing stories from people in countries that I had never even been to was simply amazing, and it inspired me to work harder! To reach more people around the globe!

As my income grew, I was able to scale my hours down to casual at the hospital. Now I could really work on my passion project full time! Plus, I no longer worked 16-hour shifts, being away from my kiddos! Being home with my kids every day has truly given me fuel to my mission and purpose. I wish everyone could do this! I want to help anyone who DOES want to do this! Seriously, if you want this then email me: [email protected] and we can brainstorm!

As I write this my blog is still very young, only 3 years old. I am learning and growing every single day.

I will not give up!

My mission has become to help people get the toxins out of their lives and to learn to find the path to wellness.

I want to help YOU. I want to help everyone. If you are sick, please don’t give up. There is help out there. Have hope and know that changing to a Real Food diet, while working on eliminating any unnecessary toxins in your life can dramatically improve your health.

To all the frustrated Nurses and medical professionals out there who went into healthcare to truly help people, don’t give up. You CAN help people. There are so many ways you can help people! I would love to help you do it!

The True Story of My Nursing Career | Real Food RN

Thank you for reading this post all the way to the bottom. I know it was a long one, and I have honestly been writing it for a few years now. I was afraid to put it out there, like I had always been in Nursing school. I hope my story resonates with others and brings light to a situation that has been getting darker and darker over the years. We can change this!

With great love and appreciation for all of you! Thanks for reading!

xoxo,

~ Kate

Here is a pic that I took of my Danskos that have seen so so so many miles, and would have some pretty amazing stories to tell! 

I threw my old work shoes on today as I ran out the door. It was the first time wearing them in two years, and it was so weird to have them back on! ## If these shoes could talk, oh the stories they would tell! Over the years I put on thousands of miles (like literally nurses walk thousands of miles), they have been covered in all of the different bodily fluids, they supported me on my tip toes as I did chest compressions in some of the most horrific codes, they stayed on my feet for 19-21 hours straight, and they are still here to talk about it. @dansko shoes last forever! ## Putting them on was actually pretty emotional for me. I finally feel free from all of that stress and the emotional roller coasters. I miss my coworkers, but I have new ones now. Now I chose my friends to be my coworkers. How awesome is that! ## It’s just amazing that I don’t have to wear them every day anymore, and that they’re just a shoe I slip on as I’m running to go teach my daughter’s Girl Scout class! I had to pinch myself. ## I transitioned into a career that I never knew existed. I didn’t even know what a blogger was! I love so much that I can be home with my kids, doing work that brings me the fulfillment that I wasn’t completely getting with bedside nursing. I really was disheartened with passing pills, symptomatic management, and managed care. ? #burntout ## I love promoting wellness ??❤️ Now I do that every day! I will always be a #Nurse, ALWAYS! I just wear different shoes now. • • • • #nurse #nursing #lovewhatyoudo #workfromhome #kids #lovemyjob #blogger

A photo posted by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀R E A L F O O D R N (@realfoodrn) on

 


 

I even did a short video telling my story, so I could share it with my Facebook followers in person 

I shared a longer version of my career story in a Facebook professionals group, tune in below


I would love to hear your stories in the comments below! Do you have a story similar to mine? Did you change your ways and are now enjoying wonderful health again? Please share! It will inspire others too. 

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102 Replies to “The True Story of My Nursing Career”

  1. Kate!!! It’s like you took the words right out of my head. I’m so tired of crisis management and putting out fires. Our health system has a major issue, preventative care doesn’t exist! I’d love to hear more about your experience with the institute of integrative nutrition. I think this strike and this article is a sign, time for a change.

    1. I feel ya sista! I would love to help you make the transition into something you enjoy! Wanna chat some day? I think you have my #. Hit me up on FB if not.

        1. I can relate to your post. I have been in nursing for 37 years. I will be 60 later this year and been thinking of ways to move into my encore career. I love functional medicine and have been interested in all the science in essential oils etc. I have wanted to do a site or blog that addresses spirit, mind and body. All are connected and keeping this in mind helps potentiate any singular treatment.

          I am caught on the merry go round and want to do something with my passion and knowledge to help others. I myself am a cancer survivor and want to be able to help others avoid the challenges I experienced from chemo etc. I am currently involved in population health but would love to create a plan with more freedom. I am an executive for Young Living but find it a challenge to work the business when I come home nightly drained of my energy to a job that does not fulfill my passion. Any ideas you can share to help develop a transition plan are greatly appreciated.

    2. >Our health system has a major issue, preventative care doesn’t exist!

      I think this is the biggest issue with our healthcare system and no one ever talks about it. Everyone asks why healthcare costs are so high and never considers that maybe it’s because we wait until there’s a serious problem before we do anything. It’s like not giving your car regular oil changes, and then asking why your car “healthcare” costs are so high because you have to constantly replace the entire engine.

  2. I too am an RN and I share your dismay with some aspects of conventional medicine. Congratulations on the courage to live you ideals and your beliefs. Stay strong!

  3. Yes. Yes. Yes. As a fellow RN, why are we not preaching wellness instead of putting band-aids on the illness. Why are we not finding the root cause of illness? I am somewhere on the spectrum of this journey you are on, and I struggle daily. Thank you.

  4. I can’t remember how I came across your blog quite some time ago but I enjoy your recipes and posts. 🙂 I worked in the ICU for four years and enjoyed it very much as well. I remember my preceptors working with me a lot about how to educate my patients (which I’m thankful they have this perspective) so that hopefully these patients might not have to come back if they started to take care of themselves….. of course, “take care of” is quite different but it still is a start. Thankfully, a sweet friend began her journey into this path of nutrition and lifestyle and it struck my interest in several ways. Slowly, we have adopted many of the lifestyle changes and I’m thankful our daughter is being raised this was as well.

    My journey with another part of this area definitely began when I took care of my first patient with a vaccine injury. Young, healthy professional who had the flu shot and developed Guillan Barre. I was very intrigued and began to read and read and read. Needless to say, my coworkers and doctors didn’t share my interest. I’m thankful for this insight and information to share with my family and friends (not that we share the same opinion too often, unfortunately…). Thank you for your passion!

    1. Thank you for telling your story Mallory! I had the same experience with a few patients who developed Guillan Barre post flu shot as well. Although nobody would admit that was the cause. The family told me it was the cause. So sad that there are so many lies today!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing! Don’t ever stop! I also used to work in the the medical field for about 10 years in geriatrics and I truly know and saw what you experienced. You are an answer to prayer to all of those who search and look for the truth out there. It has been hard for me to even share with close friends and family around me b/c people have been so brainwashed for so many years they believe that the modern medical way is the ONLY way. It is truly sad. I have been feeling the same as you when you say there is still something missing.. I think that is God talking to us to remind us that he created this earth and he created everything on this earth that we would need to live and survive. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you go on this journey. May God bless you and your family for sharing the truth!! Blessings!

    1. Thank you so much Rachel for the kind words and prayers! I share the same belief that God is whispering this to us. We need to go back to the earth and eat real food, get out in the sunshine, and eat family meals again. I completely agree with the brainwashing, that’s why it was so hard to write this post, I was fearful of the resistance and backlash. But, now my story is out!

  6. Thank you Kate for stepping out of your comfort zone and sharing your beautiful story! I too feel the same frustration and dismay with our medical system and pharmaceutical industry! I work with hospice patients and think so many times, if only someone had really educated them on nutrition and offered ways to help support their immune systems – would they still be in this situation today! I attended a class for essential oils about 3 years ago and it changed my life…I’ve been reading, researching and learning all about Alternative Medicine and the choices THAT are available, but no one is talking about! I love your articles and the information you share to help educate people – you are truly an advocate!! I’m so thankful for people like you!

  7. Thank you Kate for your story, it really resonated deeply with me. As an RN for 30 years, starting in Oncology, ICU, Management, now Emergency Dept., I love caring for patients but so frustrated with the overuse of antibiotics, poor diets, polypharmacy including narcotics, pushing vaccinations, etc., etc. I love reading your postings, recipes and advice, most of the time saying to myself, Yes!, this is how we should eat, care for ourselves and our families. Keep up the great work. I know how hard it can be with the challenges of a young family and career to juggle but you are providing a much needed service. I will be looking into naturopathy classes next. I have enjoyed aromatherapy, supplements and studying on my own. Thank you for being a great resource.

  8. Thank you, Kate. I’m having a moment of loving the crazy magic of connecting at the heart level with someone I don’t know online. I am a yoga teacher and massage practitioner with training in Ayurveda who graduated from nursing school last year at the age of 41. I wanted to serve a much broader range of people and relieve the financial stress of being self-employed as a single mom. Well, I do have a regular paycheck now (though spending has increased, too….funny how that happens!) and I leave my 10 hour days at a busy community health center sometimes feeling sickened by the insanity of treated chronic dis-ease with pharmaceuticals. I race thru intakes (gotta keep the doctor on schedule! 15 minutes visits!) knowing that the best thing I could do would be to give yogic breathing instruction and recipes for healing foods, but instead I squish myself into that little box that is the typical western approach to health. I try to stay positive and know that my calming, loving presence IS making a difference, but I feel burnout coming. I don’t know what at this moment I will do to change my course to be in alignment with my truth, but hearing your story soothes my anxiety a bit. Thank you. And thanks for the plethora of amazing recipes. Love, Carrie

    1. I had the same experience Carrie. It was so hard to triage people into the ER, only to get more meds, when I really wanted to be educating them on wellness! There is such a glaring missing piece. That’s why I started my blog, I needed to have a voice somewhere. It has been an amazing journey! There really is a lot you can do with a nursing degree too! Us health-minded nurses need to stick together and keep fighting the fight 🙂

  9. Thank you for having the courage to share this post with us, Kate. Your words really moved me, and I am so glad you have finally found a way to pursue your passion and help others. I have been fighting with chronic back pain for years and only in the last 4 or so have I really come to believe how much food impacts my pain levels. We are trained from the cradle to eat so much garbage and believe that drugs are the only way to get better. It is very hard to change that mindset, but now I am doing so one step at a time. I so appreciate all your posts for that…you give me lots of great, pratical ideas, not just for food but for other healthy-living ideas too. Thank you!!

  10. Beautiful story and so well written! I completely relate, and I’m so grateful I found your blog a few years ago. I am also an RN and am currently enrolled in IIN (I finish in just a few weeks!). I never understood why health prevention and root causes are not the focus. Modern medicine is wonderful and life saving and so so necessary- but we could be doing MORE! We could save so much money, prevent suffering, and increase vitality by focusing on well care vs sick care.

    1. I completely agree Jessica! Awesome that you are in IIN. If they are still using the same content, I was interviewed for a health history. Joshua interviewed me on stage. I was the Kate he interviewed. Are they still using that one? 🙂

  11. Hi Kate!

    I’m a nurse at Abbott, I think we worked together for a short time. Thanks for sharing your story! I am definitely feeling a lot of the same things. I love being a nurse, but I started teaching fitness classes and I started a food blog in an effort to focus more on preventative health and teaching. I’d love to hear more about how you started and grew your blog. I could use some advice for my own! I’d also love to hear more about your nursing jobs and experiences. If you’d be up for a coffee or tea to chat please let me know!

  12. Yes I can relate. I was a visiting nurse for 18 years and I loved the relationships I developed, but I began to hate pushing pills. I stopped nursing to raise a family and don’t see myself going back because I can’t swallow the medical model for dealing with chronic disease. I am also a health blogger and may pursue health coaching or something similar when my kids are grown. (Youngest is 11 and we homeschool.)

  13. Kate, you are such a beautiful person. I can imagine how full your life is and still you have time for this blog. Keep up what you do . Love your story. I’m glad you put this out there for others to read. Thank you

  14. Kate, my mother went to nursing school when it was called ‘training’, and they all wore white from top to bottom with starched white caps. She is now 89, and still at home with Dad. Gone are the days of good nutrition at the dinner table–let’s just eat fake food out of a box, it’s faster! The necessary nutrients have been stripped from the soil of our farmland. My grandfather was a pig farmer who came off the boat at Ellis Island and settled in Secaucus (NJ). The food back then was real, and folks sat down EVERY nite to supper and shared their daily stories.
    We CAN bring this back. I do have hope! You are truly an inspiration to those of us who want health from the earth, not from a laboratory experimenting with our bodies. Even if you live in a small space, you can surely grow pots of herbs and a few precious vegetables.
    Keep fighting the fight, Kate. We are with you and sharing your work with co-workers and family and friends.

    Heidi

    1. Aw thank you Heidi! We are fighting a good fight, need more recruits 😉 Yes, gone are the days of real food and real meals. We NEED to bring back the family table for sure! Everyone is so disconnected from food and from eachother!

  15. Thanks for your honesty and your heartfelt posts. I love to read them, they give me so much inspiration! I am also a fellow RN, i need some inspiration and to find my true niche, i am getting complacent in my nursing journey. This gave me some hope and inspiration to find my niche!
    Thanks so much !
    Christina

  16. I love your story Kate and have a similar one, only I was a lab technician. I’m so happy to hear how well your transition to following your passion and being able to spend more time with your family has worked out for you! After raising my five children I decided I needed to follow mine too and graduated from the Institute of Transformation Nutrition in December to become a CTNC. So now I’m trying to learn how to do a blog, video and how to coach in a Red State that won’t actually let me practice/share my nutrition expertise which is also focused on a holistic whole foods approach. I’m determined to figure it all out, takes a little longer for an old dog to learn new tricks, lol. So I want to thank you for sharing your beautiful story and for your awesome blog you share with us! Your the best and I wish you the very best!

    1. Hi Cherie, Thank you so much for your kind words 🙂 Sounds like you are on a great path too! I hope the laws change so you can practice/share your health expertise!

  17. Hi Kate, I love your story! I graduated this past March from IIN and am looking forward to helping others live a healthy happy life! My struggle is defining my niche and finding a target market. I don’t want to limit myself to just a handful of people because I truly want to help anyone who wants to be healthy and not sure how? Any suggestions on how to market myself without limiting who I want to reach? I ready all your blogs and follow you on Facebook! Thank you for all your wisdom and the willingness to share!
    Becky

  18. Hey there Kate! What you wrote is very similar to to my story! Hit the nail on the head! Would love to expand on my holistic Nursing care! Perfect time to do it since we are still on strike over here! Take care and keep on caring! Kari

  19. Hi Kate! This rings true towards the end of my nursing career. I went on maternity leave after working as an RN for 15 years. I did some soul searching and thought about the sick patients and the horrific rise in healthcare. From that day on I’ve been researching ways to improve lives and educate people this way! We may have worked in the same hospital float pool but not sure of your age! Keep up the good work and I love following you!

  20. Thanks for having the courage to share your story. Truly inspiring! Would you have any suggestions on what a good diet would be for someone with asthma?

    1. You might want to try an elimination diet to see if there are any food intolerances. Conventional dairy can really phlegm up the body and cause respiratory issues, so you might want to cut that out.

  21. Thank you for sharing! Although I am not a nurse, I have many of the same beliefs as you do. It’s hard fighting the good fight when most of the world has been brainwashed!

  22. Kate, thank you for sharing your story. So touching and heartfelt. There seems to be a shift towards a more natural approach to being healthy lately and it makes me optimistic for our kids’ futures. I’m not a nurse but the study of natural medicine (herbology, essential oils etc) has been a hobby of mine for years. I’m hoping to enroll in Natural Health Studies here in Greece to maybe chart a new course closer to my heart. I would like to someday start a blog about Greek herbs and the benifits of mediterranean diets. Congratulations on all your hard work, you are truly an inspiration ?

  23. Thank you, this is amazing, you could have been telling my story! I had the same feelings, and similar experiences, when I worked as a CNA and in my first RN year, in long-term care and general med/surg, telemetry, and dialysis. I have since been a level IV NICU and transport nurse for a 16 years now, and a mom of a 6 year old daughter…, and the cycle of birth and death, relating to new moms and families in crisis, holistic nursing, holistic living (especially while living in the hospital!), how real food can help support you on all levels, constantly spins in my head! Also, how does one consistently apply these principles to your daily life, with the swings it constantly throws at us? And how can I apply all of this in an intense ICU setting, where the best and worst moments of people’s lives are happening? We keep practicing, and telling our stories!
    Are you a member of the American Holistic Nurses’ Association? I took their wonderful course some years ago, and missed sitting for the certification exam (life!). I would like to retake that one! I also took a business course at one time with the dream of having a private RN practice, counseling new moms and families, with specialized support for families with babies in the hospital, and the underserved. I feel one day all of this is going to coalesce into something amazing!
    Anyhow, again thank you for sharing your story. 🙂

    1. Hi Mari, bless your heart for the work you do!!! I could never do NICU, I have worked everywhere else, but babies make me so emotional! It’s so hard living one way and then doing another way when at work. That’s for sure. As a Nurse, you really can’t tell people what to do outside of the “standards of care” and protocols, at least that has been my experience. It’s so frustrating. I was a member of the holistic nurses association, but never did anything with it. I recently joined a holistic medical professionals group in my local community, the first meeting I am going to focuses on food. Excited about that! I think what you plan to do in private practice sounds amazing, and SO needed. Do it!! Just jump in and go! That’s what I did and I am never looking back, love what I do every single day 🙂

  24. Hi Kate,
    I stumbled across your blog last night and found it fascinating. I am looking forward to reading more of your blog and your recipes, and learning more about the detox concept and real food. We cook most of our food at home and don’t buy much pre-packaged, but I’m still not sure I’m in the same ballpark as what you are describing as health through nutrition. And the idea of homemade remedies and other health products is definitely novel to me. I think I’ll enjoy exploring your blog very much. Thank you for this post explaining how you got started, and thank you for sharing what you’ve learned.
    -Holly in California

  25. Yep. I work for a couple of naturopathic doctors for the same reason that you listed above. I have a sign that I made that is in my office and in my kitchen. The quote from Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” I’m currently earning my hours for PA school. While the modern medical model still has its place, we must *MUST* as medical practitioners move in a direction of nutrition and natural care. Being under the supervision of two ND’s, I think I’m on the right track. Thanks for sharing your insight.

  26. I found this blog while searching for recipes using this search term: “milk cocoa sugar gelatin”. I plan to try the healthy hot chocolate squares with my son later today, but I got sidetracked by the story of your nursing career. What a beautifully written ode to your patients and your passion!

    Two weeks ago, I graduated with an associate degree in dental assisting technology. I had considered nursing, but I am far too holistically minded to deal with it all. I am starting on gen ed classes for a bachelor of science but would like to find a program that focuses on holistic nutrition. I am going to check out the school you linked to.

    My ultimate goal is to have the credentials to back me up in a position with a biological dental practice. I don’t want to push fluoride and amalgam! I want to teach people how to care for their oral health naturally, and I want them to understand how oral health affects systemic health. Maybe after gaining 10 or so years of experience, I might search for an adjunct position at a state college, to pass on what I’ve learned to the next generation. Have you considered teaching in nursing school? They could really use someone like you!

    1. Aw, thank you so much for your kind words. I have considered teaching, but I am afraid that there is not a market for me at this time. It sounds like you are on a great path! I go to a holistic dentist and he is awesome!!!! Plus, he is getting very popular in the area, I had to wait 6 months to get in! So, you are definitely on a great track for the future. Modern medicine and modern dentistry has to change! It can’t continue on this way, and people are catching on.

  27. I just found your blog and truly understand. I am a new grad RN. I raised my kids on a farm, put them through school and then went to school myself for the first time. But I already knew about real food. So with my license, I landed a job in a naturopathic office. I feel like I am right where I am supposed to be.

    1. That sounds amazing Donna. What a blessing to raise your children on a farm and then find an amazing career path! We need so many more people like you in this world!

  28. Katie it is like I am reading my own thoughts! I am too a nurse who is “crunchy”. I am good at my job in the ICU but constantly feel like I am making people more sick by pumping everyone full of meds and more meds to cover up the side effects. Modern medicine knows so little about alternative therapies and preventative measures. It makes me so frustrated! We simply cover up the immediate issue and never address the root of the problem. I am currently working on more holistic options and just started my own business as a certified aromatherapist creating products and providing consultations in the community. I plan to grow my offerings but it is a fun start. I hope to scale down at the hospital someday!!!! Sick of the 12 hour shifts 🙁

    1. Hi Katie, so glad you have the same direction as I do! I felt the same way working in the ICU! So cool that you are an aromatherapist. I love using essential oils too! Are you signed up with a specific essential oils company? I love Young Living. You can definitely scale back in hours, it took me about 2 years to be able to get down to casual. SO glad we have options so we are able to do that!

    2. I totally feel the same way! That’s awesome that you have started up your own business..I hope it goes well. To scale down working at the hospital is a dream of mine as well.

  29. Thank you for sharing your story, I am also an RN (I have been nursing for almost 8 years, mostly pediatric float pool). I think I first found your blog a little over 2 years ago. When I first found your blog I had no idea about essential oils, living chemical free, or that the food one eats affects their health. Your blog was mind opening. I started researching chemical free living, getting rid of the toxins in my home, and started using essential oils. It’s funny to look back and remember the way I used to live.
    The more I have learned, the more I have a desire to help others. I feel that working at the hospital just isn’t fulfilling. Pumping people full of medicine when there are so many alternative therapies, it just makes me sad that nobody wants to teach people that there are other ways. That you do not have to take a pill to be well. I’d love to learn more about health and alternative medicine, plus grow my knowledge of essential oils.
    I applaud you for making a living doing something you are passionate about, and that is making a difference in people’s lives. Thank you

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Charlotte! I completely agree, we need to make a change. I love what I do and I am determined to get the word out! You should join my team, we have a ton of nurses 🙂

      1. What do you mean when you say “join your team”? I am interested in learning more about EO and natural living.

  30. I love this post! I found your blog awhile ago, but just read your nursing story now. I am a newish grad nurse working on a med-surg unit at an allina hospital! I noticed your scrubs in the picture – you must be from MN. I have been a nurse for almost 2 years, but I started my career in a nursing home. I like my job at the hospital but I also feel like something is missing. I feel like the doctors don’t address the root cause of the problem and just cover up symptoms with medications. And then you have patients being readmitted because they aren’t any better! It is frustrating sometimes. I am passionate about nutrition and real food but I am at a loss of what to do with that. It seems like there is so much conflicting information when I try to research that I don’t know what to believe! Anyway, Thank you for this post. It is inspiring!

  31. I love this post! I tried to comment before, but it appears that my comment disappeared. Anyway, I totally relate to everything you have said in your post. I am a newish nurse (coming up on 2 years). I worked in a nursing home for a year after graduation and I loved the residents but I felt like all I did was give medications. Now I work on a med surg unit at an Allina hospital (I noticed your scrubs – you must be from MN!). Anyway, I really like my job but I do feel like something is missing. Again, there is the problem of covering up the problem with medications and not getting to the cause. I love nutrition and I am slowly trying to learn more. I’m not sure how long I will work in the hospital, but I do know that I am passionate about nutrition – real food nutrition – and I don’t know what to do with that passion. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way, even though it sometimes seems like it!

    1. Hi Elizabeth, sorry that your previous post disappeared! I am not sure what happened to it. I did work at the Allina hospitals for years. Abbott for 12+ and then West Health. I miss my co-workers, but I do not miss the stress. Sounds like we share the same passion for real health! You can totally follow that path. I made a career change and now I LOVE what I do, and it’s still in alignment with Nursing. If you ever want to brainstorm, shoot me an email: [email protected]

  32. So great to find your Web site with enlightened people. My daughter and I have learned it is nutrition and natural herbs that help. I am a nurse unhappy with the pharmacy led medical model of finding a disease and selling a pill for it. Florence Nightengale said we are to put the patient in the best position for nature to act upon him (so he can heal) And the goal of the nurse is to assist the patient in staying in balance. It is encouraging to get back to her principals. Nurses get burnt out because the medical model often doesn’t work. It is so heartening to find healers who understand how to help keep our bodies in balance. Thank you and your posters.

    1. I agree 100% Adrien! Thank you for your comments, glad to have more people sharing the same beliefs. Together we can turn this situation around!

  33. Finding your blog is an answered prayer! I just applied to nursing school at the University of Florida for admission into the program in the fall! Like yourself, I am very very interested in health, wellness, and fitness and enjoy finding the root of the problem and healing the body the way God intended it to be healed– through natural, earth provided medicine. So my question to you is, should I pursue a nursing degree if I believe in these things? I’m not sure if I would be able to go through the motions and provide “care” in a way that I know is counterintuitive and keeping patients sick and making them even sicker! Is it possible to become a nurse and work for a health clinic that is centered on preventative, holistic care?
    Also, I just finished the most amazing book called “The Plant Paradox” by Dr. Steven Gundry and I believe it would unimaginably benefit you as it did me!

    1. Hi Heather, so glad you found my little space on the internet. 🙂 Sounds like we share the same mindset. I don’t want to advise you on your career choices, you should really make that decision on your own. Even though I no longer work in the hospital setting, I would never give up my nursing degree and bedside experience for anything! I learned SO much about the human body through my experience as a Nurse. Now I can apply that knowledge to my current pursuits, helping others achieve and maintain a high level of wellness. You can definitely pursue other options while getting your nursing degree. Thanks for the book recommendation, sounds like a good one. I will check it out, thanks!

  34. Hi Kate, I was googling how to make homemade elderberry syrup and came upon your site. It is lovely! and so wonderful to see someone else doing work they (you) obviously love to do. I too am just beginning my online biz as a meditation coach and it is inspiring to see others like you who have come so far teaching your passion. Thank you for the inspiration, it is greatly appreciated. xo Sahaj

    1. Hi Sahaj! So exciting that you are starting a business as a meditation coach! Something that is very needed in our busy modern world 🙂

  35. I am in tears reading this post. I have been searching for like minded RN’s and just found your blog today, what an answer to prayer for me. Thank you for what you do, I look forward to reading more on your blog. So nice to know I’m not on an island.

    1. Our numbers are increasing as it should* Nurses who see cause to affect and who are choosing a healthy effective path. Patients in the hospital are also seeing the light. They are so much more educated in the last 5 years than in the last 20 years! It must be the internet.

  36. Kate,
    I am so thankful I ran across your blog while searching for home made elderberry syrup recipes 🙂
    I am a registered nurse who, like you, entered the medical field to help people, but quickly found that being a nurse didn’t necessarily feel like I thought it would… It only took a short 6 months for me to realize medical surgical nursing was not for me, that I wanted to be on a preventative side of things, with few choices for a new nurse I found myself in labor and delivery, taking care of mostly health patients, but still, it fell short in the areas of preventative health. I currently work as a school nurse, and it is a fantastic job, I do get to help kids understand health and wellness while also tending to their acute and chronic health needs. But I still feel I’m not doing enough. I crave to live a life or the best nutrition and helping others truly live that way. My husband is a chiropractor and so over the years I”ve learned a lot, and am continuing to read book after book about the powers of food, and I think to myself, how… how are we not using this as a means to stay healthy!? Why is our healthcare system so incredibly reactive vs proactive? What can I do help people understand this?
    So far I’ve come up short but reading this helps me feel like I”m not alone and I can keep learning, moving forward and finding ways to help others!
    I look forward to continuing to follow your blog!

    1. Hi Lindsey! So glad that you are on the same journey as me!! We need wellness warriors to join our cause! Awesome that your husband is a chiro, and SO awesome that you are working with kids and educating them on real health. It is hard to get the word out, you just need to keep talking to every person you see about it! That’s what I do! Outside of educating via my blog, I run online classes all about educating on non-toxic living too: https://www.facebook.com/groups/989474954464972/. I also started a podcast and I hope to bring on some AMAZING health warriors:https://realfoodrn.com/podcast/. Feel free to email me any time with questions too: [email protected]

  37. Kate, Well, I have been an RN much longer, try almost 40 years, and am just finishing the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy. Once you find out there are medical professionals looking at root causes, you want to scream at just giving a pill to cover a symptom of the root cause. How many symptoms can we mask before the root cause screams at us in a way we can’t mask with medication. Medication with side effects that we only seem to worry about if we get them. I think my saddest day in nursing was the lady who had a clot got to her gut and kill it after a routine heart catheterization. Her husband kept repeating, “and the catheterization was normal.” We had cause the death of a beautiful wife and mother. But it just seemed to be an acceptable risk to the doctors. How did we get so calloused?
    Now I need to get out and influence people to better health as well as a Functional Medicine Health Coach. I think my angle will be “tailored”, as every client brings a story, not a disease. Every person brings strengths, all their own. Working on these together to make the changes they want for improved health will be exciting. Praying for energy and wisdom to get there. Thankful for people who prove it is possible. Thanks

    1. I completely agree Linda! I felt the same way when I was working in the hospital. Sounds like you are doing great work!!! Together we can make big changes in this flawed system!

  38. Hey Kate! I worked at Abbott too for our 5 years in the twin cities. Great hospital!! I now work in Milwaukee on an oncology/BMT floor as a physical therapist……it’s sad and definitely makes you think about diet and prevention. My question I unrelated really to your post, but what are some of your favorite supplements for pregnancy? Expecting my fourth in July!

  39. thanks so much for this informative blog. I, too, have been on my research journey for about 4 years since i successfully weaned myself from psychotropics. I didnt work as a nurse, but i worked a social worker for years in nursing homes, working long hours, eating terribly, and simply putting band aides on my symptoms. i am so THANKFUL to Jesus that He allowed me the pain of losing my job due to restructuring. It enabled me to go on this journey of wellness, ditch the meds, get pregnant x2 when i thought i would never have kids, essentially treat my depression/thyroid/polyovarian cysts/irregular periods with diet and herbs. Praise God! Ive been interested in nursing for a long time, but im debating about nursing vs holistic health coach. any thoughts or experience on that? I agree-the healthcare industry is so broken..it seems insurmountable in so many ways. The conflict of interest is great. Thanks for any thoughts.

    1. So awesome that you were able to do all of those wonderful things once you were released from your job!!! God is good!!! Nursing is a great degree to have, you can do many things with it. But a Holistic Health Coach is much less training and education. You could even do both, like I did 🙂

  40. Wow. This is the cry of my heart. I work as a nurse in L&D and am so conflicted every single day. I love that you found a way to your passion.

  41. I am so glad I found your website. I decided not to become a doctor because I felt like they were just drug dealers. I thought I would hurt people more than help them. I worked in administration and for labs and I was bored. I wanted to help people to get healthy so I am now studying nutrition also. This is the real way to be healthy-eat real food, detoxify, sleep, walk, breathe fresh air, pray, etc. Nothing else is really needed except herbs and oils if random sickness occurs which is RARE if we eat and live right. I pray that your message become a raging fire AND spread to the whole world! Mainstream medicine makes people sick not healthy.

    1. So awesome that you followed your passion, you will NEVER regret doing that! I also pray that this message becomes a raging fire that turns our state of health around and empowers people to live healthy lives!

  42. This is me! I’ve done everything from womb to tomb and just can’t find my niche because I see all that’s wrong with our medical world! I’m working towards a story like yours! You’re such an inspiration! I’m the weird crunchy nurse that gets the crunchy moms cause I’m weird too, lol. Thank you for posting!!!

    1. Yay, another weird crunchy nurse like me! 🙂 I am always happy to help you find your niche! Let me know if you ever want to brainstorm!

  43. Oh my. Are we meant to be best friends? I honestly thought that no one else ever thought that way about their elderly patients. Reading how you would picture them as babies almost made me tear up, because that’s exactly what I do. Honestly, I thought I was a quack! Your post/ story sounds like something I could have written myself- you have written things I think myself but never discuss with anyone. I too am a RN, but unhappy with the medical world. I’ve been so interested in all the same things you are since I had my first baby 5 years ago. My husband tells me I’m turning into a hippie, and I’m ok with that! I have so much to learn though! Where do you go for information? Like actual research? I want to do more reading but don’t know where to look for trustworthy info. Can you point me in a good direction? Thank you!!!

    1. Hello Sarah! So great that we are sharing in the same journey and passion to pave a better path! I go to PubMed for a lot of my research. like I learned to in nursing school. I also listen to a TON of audio books and health podcasts, its my geek out hour on my runs to listen to them 🙂

  44. Hi Kate, Your journey is similar to mine in the discovery and living out what you have learned. I’ve been an RN since 1981. I saw you on Twin Cities Live yesterday and thought, I need to connect. I’m very proud of you for what you are dong. There is a HUGE need for this. Many more of us are needed. I’m still at the bedside on a busy Med Surg floor but share and help my fellow co workers and teach and refer my pts. Now I have another site to refer them to. Thank you for this!
    Whole Foods Plant Based Nurse,
    Donna J

    1. Hi Donna! Thanks so much for tuning in, and I completely agree that we need more healthy living advocates. Nurses are the perfect people for this mission 🙂 Thank you so much for your kind words and referrals. Are you local to Minnesota?

  45. Hello! I started out my Nursing career in Hem/Onc and when newly diagnosed patients would ask me what else they could do for their health in addition to standard treatments, I always wanted to, and sometimes did say, “try organic eating”. 15 years ago at the Mpls VA hospital, not everyone was on board with that thinking. Now it’s a different story. I’m so happy in the ICU float pool, still at the VA. So happy I stumbled across your blog! I think we were shopping at the same co-op this AM, and I saw your website on a car decal and got curious…Can’t wait to read more

    1. Yes! I ALWAYS wanted to teach all of my patients how to live healthier, but the protocols from the doctors did not allow for that. So great to have more like-minded nurses out there. Keep up the good work! Yes, I love Lakewinds, it’s my favorite place to shop.

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